Confused by filter lenses...


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ettk75

New Member
Nov 30, 2008
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Sengkang
#1
Hi all,

I am quite confused by all the filter lenses available. Do not know which filter is for what purpose i.e. ND filters? Different type of ND filters are meant for what?, etc....

And what are the basic filters that most photographer should have?
Any difference between brands of filters? Is it very expensive?

I believe it helps in a way with our photoshoots...please advise....:dunno:
 

lordpain

Senior Member
Feb 22, 2007
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#2
You might probably need a neutral filter to protect your lenses. For starters, getting HOYA is good enough. There are different grades for HOYA as well, a good start would be getting the HMC ones. Getting coated lenses would prove useful for easing up the learning curve of picking up photography as it prevents ghostings etc.

Do look at this page at the different grades of Hoya:
http://www.photofilter.com/hoya_filter_information_page.htm

For myself, I use B+W UV or Skylight filters. They are as claimed as easier to clean, which I am very happy with the product, you might want to try it out f you decide to pay the premium.
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/B+W-UV-Filter.aspx

As for the uses of the different types of filters, its your choice to experiment. There are countless of effect and light modifier filters. For starters you might want to invest on a CPL, a Circular Polarizer. Others that you might want to invest on later would be NDs, GNDs, Colour Filters (Usually for film, as in digital theres WB and PS) and lastly special effects like soft focus and star filter.

You might want to check this site for more details.
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/filters.htm

Cheers.
 

MarkNKL

New Member
Apr 4, 2009
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www.flickr.com
#3
Clear or UV Filter - Protects front element of lens, very very nice thing to have, some people say lens hood enough, I'm kiasu and kiasi, so I put a clear filter on as well.

Circular Polarizer Filter (CPL) - offers same front element protection, looks like 2 uv filters screwed onto one another, you can rotate the "outside" one when mounted on your lens to either give you deeper blues from the skies or to cut through reflections in glass

Neutral Density (ND) filters - Have limited experience with these, they stop some light front entering the lens, offering the photographer more flexibility in terms of shutter speed and aperture, (say they want a long exposure, but its a tad bit bright for the shutter speed, so put on the ND filter to drop light entering, without needing to up f/stop)

Graduated Neutral Density (GND) - half of the filter is of neutral density which transitions, either abruptly or gradually, into the other half which is clear. Used to bring an overly-bright part of a scene into the dynamic range of the sensor, think of it as Half-ND, Half-Clear.


And what are the basic filters that most photographer should have?
- Clear/UV filter , because you don't want to end up with chips or scratches on your front element
- CPL, very useful for getting more dramatic deep blue skies, and you can cut through reflections in glass or water (how much is dependant on the quality of the filter)

Any difference between brands of filters? Is it very expensive?
- B+W The most expensive, but also the best, easy to clean, good quality etc etc, 1 clear filter for 77mm thread is $130 or $160?

But as Lordpain mentioned, Hoya is good enough for most people.
 

Last edited:

ettk75

New Member
Nov 30, 2008
204
0
0
Sengkang
#4
You might probably need a neutral filter to protect your lenses. For starters, getting HOYA is good enough. There are different grades for HOYA as well, a good start would be getting the HMC ones. Getting coated lenses would prove useful for easing up the learning curve of picking up photography as it prevents ghostings etc.

Do look at this page at the different grades of Hoya:
http://www.photofilter.com/hoya_filter_information_page.htm

For myself, I use B+W UV or Skylight filters. They are as claimed as easier to clean, which I am very happy with the product, you might want to try it out f you decide to pay the premium.
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/B+W-UV-Filter.aspx

As for the uses of the different types of filters, its your choice to experiment. There are countless of effect and light modifier filters. For starters you might want to invest on a CPL, a Circular Polarizer. Others that you might want to invest on later would be NDs, GNDs, Colour Filters (Usually for film, as in digital theres WB and PS) and lastly special effects like soft focus and star filter.

You might want to check this site for more details.
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/filters.htm

Cheers.
Thanks bro for the info....:thumbsup:
 

ettk75

New Member
Nov 30, 2008
204
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0
Sengkang
#5
Hi all,
Can ask if its recommendable to get a step-up adapter ring to use with circular polarisers?
i.e. use 77mm polariser with step up ring (52mm - 77mm).

Coz my current lenses setup are both 52mm.:dunno:
 

3in1c

New Member
Oct 23, 2008
609
1
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40
East
#6
Hi all,
Can ask if its recommendable to get a step-up adapter ring to use with circular polarisers?
i.e. use 77mm polariser with step up ring (52mm - 77mm).

Coz my current lenses setup are both 52mm.:dunno:
It saves your money. However note that possible vignetting on wide lens.
 

Octarine

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 3, 2008
12,543
33
48
Pasir Ris
#7
Hi all,
Can ask if its recommendable to get a step-up adapter ring to use with circular polarisers?
i.e. use 77mm polariser with step up ring (52mm - 77mm).
Coz my current lenses setup are both 52mm.:dunno:
If you only have lenses with 52m thread and you don't have plans for other lenses then a simple 52mm CPL might be better for the time being. If you see yourself changing the lenses soon then it's better to go with the 77mm (of course for a higher price tag) and get the step-up ring.
 

Aug 19, 2009
549
0
0
39
#9
Clear or UV Filter - Protects front element of lens, very very nice thing to have, some people say lens hood enough, I'm kiasu and kiasi, so I put a clear filter on as well.

Circular Polarizer Filter (CPL) - offers same front element protection, looks like 2 uv filters screwed onto one another, you can rotate the "outside" one when mounted on your lens to either give you deeper blues from the skies or to cut through reflections in glass

Neutral Density (ND) filters - Have limited experience with these, they stop some light front entering the lens, offering the photographer more flexibility in terms of shutter speed and aperture, (say they want a long exposure, but its a tad bit bright for the shutter speed, so put on the ND filter to drop light entering, without needing to up f/stop)

Graduated Neutral Density (GND) - half of the filter is of neutral density which transitions, either abruptly or gradually, into the other half which is clear. Used to bring an overly-bright part of a scene into the dynamic range of the sensor, think of it as Half-ND, Half-Clear.


And what are the basic filters that most photographer should have?
- Clear/UV filter , because you don't want to end up with chips or scratches on your front element
- CPL, very useful for getting more dramatic deep blue skies, and you can cut through reflections in glass or water (how much is dependant on the quality of the filter)

Any difference between brands of filters? Is it very expensive?
- B+W The most expensive, but also the best, easy to clean, good quality etc etc, 1 clear filter for 77mm thread is $130 or $160?

But as Lordpain mentioned, Hoya is good enough for most people.
Hi Bro,

Kinda new into this hobbie and notice that there are quite a number of repeated questions here and there so am reading backwards to prevent as much as i can.

On the above ( CPL, ND,GND ) do anyone advise having one of each in your bag and use them when the environment calls for it? And by default maybe all my lens uses a normal UV Lens? Is that the practise?

Thanks alot
 

dw8888

New Member
Sep 27, 2007
583
0
0
#10
Hi Bro,

Kinda new into this hobbie and notice that there are quite a number of repeated questions here and there so am reading backwards to prevent as much as i can.

On the above ( CPL, ND,GND ) do anyone advise having one of each in your bag and use them when the environment calls for it? And by default maybe all my lens uses a normal UV Lens? Is that the practise?

Thanks alot

I think it really depend on what you wanted to take. I think no one can tell you what to buy and what must have. There was one a guy told me he don't like to put on filter when photographing. Read up the purpose of those filter and then decide what to buy.
 

daredevil123

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
21,662
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lil red dot
#11
Hi Bro,

Kinda new into this hobbie and notice that there are quite a number of repeated questions here and there so am reading backwards to prevent as much as i can.

On the above ( CPL, ND,GND ) do anyone advise having one of each in your bag and use them when the environment calls for it? And by default maybe all my lens uses a normal UV Lens? Is that the practise?

Thanks alot
Most photographers like to get everything for every situation in their dry cabinates. Thing is, no seasoned photographer will carry everything in their bag. This is where proper planning comes in. When you go to a photoshoot session, you have to assess what kind of photography you will likely do. From that list in your head, you pack your selection of lenses, filters, flash and other accessories. It is just impossible to bring everything with us in our bags, at least for those of us who have a lot of stuff/equipment.

What I have now interms of filters,

Cokin P: holder, adapter rings, GND4, GND2, ND4, ND8, C-PL
Others: 52mm C-PL, 58mm C-PL, 52mm ND4, 55mm cross star, 55mm FL-D, and a bunch of protectors and UVs.

So, if I am going out to shoot sunrise or sunset, I will bring all my Cokin stuff and my tripod. If I am going to do some shooting at the beach with my family or friends in broad daylight, I will just bring C-PL. I find Cokin stuff good for tripod landscape work, but it is too troublesome and bulky for shooting on the go.

Oh. please remember one thing: When using C-PL, turn auto WB off.
 

Aug 19, 2009
549
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39
#12
What I have now interms of filters,

Cokin P: holder, adapter rings, GND4, GND2, ND4, ND8, C-PL
Others: 52mm C-PL, 58mm C-PL, 52mm ND4, 55mm cross star, 55mm FL-D, and a bunch of protectors and UVs.QUOTE]

Bro,

Is that another $1000 worth of filters???

The numbers behind the filters GND4 what are they for?
 

daredevil123

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
21,662
69
48
lil red dot
#13
What I have now interms of filters,

Cokin P: holder, adapter rings, GND4, GND2, ND4, ND8, C-PL
Others: 52mm C-PL, 58mm C-PL, 52mm ND4, 55mm cross star, 55mm FL-D, and a bunch of protectors and UVs.
Bro,

Is that another $1000 worth of filters???

The numbers behind the filters GND4 what are they for?
No la not $1000. Cost of my entire cokin stuff including a bag i bought just to put the filters comes up to around $300.

The rest of the filters I acquired over the last 10+ years. A bunch of the Hoyas I got really cheap back in 90s when a shop was going out of business. Each HMC filter cost me like $15.

ND = Neutral density
The number behind it determines the amount of light it allows
ND2 = Normal light /2 = 50% of the original light passing through
ND4 = Normal Light /4 = 25% of the orignal light passing through.

GND = Graduated Neutral Density. Meaning the filter ND quality is gradual, from clear to dark.
The number behind it shows you how dark the solid ND part is. so GND4 means, it is a gradual neutral density filter that starts from ND4 (25% of light) till clear.

If you want to know more you can read it up here
 

josshing

New Member
Jun 19, 2009
161
0
0
#14
What I have now interms of filters,

Cokin P: holder, adapter rings, GND4, GND2, ND4, ND8, C-PL
Others: 52mm C-PL, 58mm C-PL, 52mm ND4, 55mm cross star, 55mm FL-D, and a bunch of protectors and UVs.QUOTE]

Bro,

Is that another $1000 worth of filters???

The numbers behind the filters GND4 what are they for?
Hi,
Do take a look at this. http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/camera-lens-filters.htm
it explains. all this stands for the amount of F stop reduction :)
 

daredevil123

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
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lil red dot
#15
Hi all,
Can ask if its recommendable to get a step-up adapter ring to use with circular polarisers?
i.e. use 77mm polariser with step up ring (52mm - 77mm).

Coz my current lenses setup are both 52mm.:dunno:
Woah! That is stepping up a lot!

Most people step up from like 72mm to 77mm because more good lens are 77mm and 72mm is rare. So to share costs for C-PL and other filters, they step it up to 77mm.

From 52mm to 77mm, your lens will look like a trumpet. And 77mm filters are very expensive compared to 52mm. You sure you want to do that?
 

Last edited:
Aug 19, 2009
549
0
0
39
#16
No la not $1000. Cost of my entire cokin stuff including a bag i bought just to put the filters comes up to around $300.

The rest of the filters I acquired over the last 10+ years.
Haha Was taking your CPL Filters into consideration also mah... 10+ years worth of collection... thats no joke. I understand that CPL will aid in taking away reflections when taking pictures like from our underwater world? Does those have number as well?

One more stupid question.... Regarding taking pictures during clubbing where the environment uses dry ice which fogs up the place. Once flash is activated the pictures will have some smoke in between. Any idea of a filter or anything to reduce or eliminate those?

Cheers!
 

daredevil123

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
21,662
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lil red dot
#17
C-PL is just a C-PL. C-PL usually cost you a drop in 1.5-2 stops of light. But different brands of C-PL have different drops in the number of stops.

The dry ice thing? No filter will be able to help you. Maybe if you get a fan and blow a hole in the fog? LOL
 

Del_CtrlnoAlt

Senior Member
Feb 15, 2003
16,268
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0
Outside the Dry Box.
Visit site
#19
Haha Was taking your CPL Filters into consideration also mah... 10+ years worth of collection... thats no joke. I understand that CPL will aid in taking away reflections when taking pictures like from our underwater world? Does those have number as well?

One more stupid question.... Regarding taking pictures during clubbing where the environment uses dry ice which fogs up the place. Once flash is activated the pictures will have some smoke in between. Any idea of a filter or anything to reduce or eliminate those?

Cheers!
U probably need a X-Ray Filter... :bsmilie: but do remember ur 'filters' are for colors and polarising stuff... not making a see thru... (an IR filter need strong IR to 'see thru') a B+W UV+Haze filter dun filter off Haze... and i got no idea why they label it a UV+Haze filter...
 

Aug 19, 2009
549
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#20
a B+W UV+Haze filter dun filter off Haze... and i got no idea why they label it a UV+Haze filter...

Being a newbie, i was almost ready to go and purchase one because of the Haze word thinking that it does "filter" off the haze. But i somehow felt that its going to be expensive cause if it can filter off haze and somehow restructure the image behind the haze.... WOW!!!

But then judging from your reply and Bro daredevil's..... Sianzzz!!

Also one question: The CPL filters, i understand that it lengthens the exposure time ( Shutter speed is slower )? Does it mean that i have to have a tripod to use it? Thinking of getting one when i go underwater world in sentosa....

Cheers!
 

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